Popular South Korean pop male group EXO released their second studio album “Exodus,” and climbed up music charts worldwide.
The group has continued to slay the charts as they were landed No. 90 on the Billboard Hot 200 back on April 9 and No. 98 on the Canadian Hot 100, Canada’s version of the Billboard Hot 100, for the April 25 rankings, according to the Billboard website.
After their second mini album “Overdose” back in May 2014, and the departure of two members, the new ten member group, EXO, came back stronger and with a more mature sound than their previous albums.
The album title “Exodus” meaning symbolizes the group currently, EXO, the group name and dus, which means ten.
“Call Me Baby” is a more up-beat, catchy dance song that displays the trending brass-sound currently booming in the kpop market. The jazzy pop, R&B song shows the ten members singing, dancing, and rapping skills greatly in this upbeat tune, about a boy wanting the girl he likes to call him hers.
“Transfomer,” the second song on the album takes more of a turn toward a hip-hop/ rap sound, with a strong base and tune, which is different from most songs SM Entertainment has released in the past. The rap isn’t very strong, but the chorus is quite catchy. This song talks about a boy liking a girl who is unattainable because she is always changing herself.
“What If” is a bit slower melody, giving their audience a taste of an old-school R&B sound. This track talks about being sorry for looking with his eyes at the woman he loves when she has someone else, because he was too late to confess his feelings.
The tune displays EXO’s D.O. and Baekhyun’s soulful singing, which harmonizes perfectly in R&B tunes.
The lyrics “I’m becoming more and more sorry, looking at you with these kind of feelings, What if it was me, The eyes that are looking at you inside your eyes” change the mood of the album from the confident “Call Me Baby” to a more sorrowful sound.
The piano based ballad “My Answer” is sung by main singers D.O., Baekhyun, and Suho for the Korean version, and by Lay, Chen, and D.O. for the Mandarin-Chinese version.
The track is about a man who isn’t as confident in himself until he looks to the one he loves, singing “my answer is you,” numerous times throughout the chorus. EXO’s leader Suho really lets his vocals shine here throughout the harmonizations and emotional lyrics.
“Exodus,” originally titled “Escape,” takes the audience back to an upbeat tempo with a catchy piano, almost dj-esc sound and softer beat, harmonizing with the poetic lyrics of, “You’re like a castle wall made of clear glass sparkling like a jewel as you trap me inside of you” and “In your sweet arms, I’m a weak king.”
The tune gave light to the surprisingly smooth vocals of rappers Chanyeol and Kai in the bridge of the song. The storyline of this tune follows of a man who has become blinded by love even though it is cruel. He realizes the cruel and lonely love he is in and tries to escape, making his exodus or withdrawal from a bad relationship.
After three years “El Dorado” was released. This track was featured in an early teaser back in February of 2012 to introduce all the members of the group before their debut on April 8 of 2012.
The track’s lyrics translate to the group as a whole making it through any obstacles they encounter, and going out to find their paradise and city of gold, standing by the group’s motto ‘We are EXO. We are one.’
“Hurt” begins with an almost circus-sounding tune in piano, giving the illusion of a sweet dream, until the beat drops, turning this sweet-dream into a nightmare, as the song expresses the pain that has been caused by the one he loves. This song has the potential to be a title track, keeping the poetic lyrics going here as well.
I first heard this song in early March when videos of their concert were posted on YouTube, and it was an instant favorite. The song is carried by an addictive base and melody that was played in EXO Xiumin’s pathcode teaser, and at the beginning of their “Call Me Baby” mv.
The hard base and acoustic guitar in “Lady Luck” remind me of Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River,” but more seductive. The electronic base even kicks in towards the middle, but the girl’s voice throughout the track in the background is unnecessary and disruptive.
Songs that didn’t make the album but were released exclusively for fans before the drop of the album or preformed at their concert in early March were: “First Love” and “Promise.”
“First Love” was released a couple days before the album, as a gift to the fans that solved the Twitter Pathcode riddles to their ten teasers. The audio of the song was only posted on SM Entertainment’s YouTube page for ten hours, and didn’t make the cut on the album.
“Promise” was another song that EXO performed live at their concert in Seoul, South Korea, back in early march for their domestic fans. This song was personally written by three of the members: Chen, Chanyeol, and Lay. After the departure of two members from the group last year, EXO wrote this song to their fans to promise them that they would always stay one, as their motto goes, “We are one. We are EXO.”
Although this album came across a bit more serious, and not as upbeat and fun as previous albums, “Exodus” has shown a more mature sound to EXO with more R&B tunes, smoother vocals and better song production, coming back stronger than before.